In today’s Monday Minute, Planting Roots Director, Kori Yates, shares about how being on mission together isn’t only more fun, but crucial to our walk with Christ.
On Mission Together
by Kori Yates
We were training in the woods of Northern Virginia. Our task: to lead a squad from point A to point B. Good ol’ Marine Corps training.
I would love to tell you that land navigation is my strong point, but that’s not the case. In a classroom on a piece of paper, I am phenomenal. In the middle of the woods, not quite so much. This November day I stood looking at my “squad,” a bunch of other Marines in training and really wondered if we’d make it. We each would have our turn in this exercise and in this moment my number was up.
As a group, we had been through much before: 0200 “fire alarms,” 8-mile hikes in the sleet, chapel in the basement of the barracks, classes where we fought to stay awake, and battalion runs that never seemed to end. This walk through the woods was the challenge I dreaded. I really was wondering if we would make the objective.
As I plotted our course on paper, I surveyed my surroundings and simply pointed us in what I considered the right direction. My most brilliant move that day was choosing a point man, a guy who had demonstrated this skill throughout our training. I trusted him.
Together, my squad and I walked through the woods, up hill and down, to find one of the Instructors at the top of a ridge. We had reached our objective and, according to her, had done so in record time. Who knew, right? She asked about our process and our route. Then complimented us on “thinking outside the box” and taking a different than expected path.
As the Squad Leader this time, she was confident it must have been my land navigation prowess that had brought us here.
How wrong she was.
Standing in front of her that day, I saw what “being on mission together” truly meant. I realized the importance of building relationships with those around me, trusting the gifts I saw in them, and walking together.
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. “
1 Corinthians 12:12-14
Just like I needed a point man, the experience of my squad members, and even the guidance and encouragement of my instructor in my military training, I need these things even more in my walk with Christ. As God crosses my path with others and plants me in places for a season, his intent is for me to be on mission in that place and to do so with others.
I need them in order to do what he’s called me to do, but they also need me.
The entire twelfth chapter of 1 Corinthians reminds us over and over again how we are all given different gifts and the expectation is that we use those gifts in coordination and conjunction with others. TOGETHER we make up the Body of Christ, not me by myself. Navigating this military life can feel much like my Marine Corps training. It can be challenging and rewarding all at the same time. But when we reach graduation day and stand on the parade deck before our Savior, we offer him a life that was lived well because we lived it with others.
We have to be on mission together. Alone the trip through the woods will be much more daunting, down right scary, and not altogether obedient.
Go on mission and go TOGETHER.
Read: 1 Corinthians 12
Reflect: What are the passions and gifts God has given you? Who has he placed in your world today with whom you can go on mission?
Respond: If you have people in your life with whom you’re on mission where you are, intentionally build those relationships. If you have yet to find those folks, pray. God has them there. He will show you.
Lord, open my eyes to the people you have placed in my life. Give me the courage to “do life” with them, to be on mission together. Weave our hearts together as only you can. Amen.
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